Torchlight 2 open 'Overworld' areas explained

Every other week between now and E3 2011, developer Runic Games has pledged to share new bits of information for its upcoming sequel Torchlight 2. On Friday, the dev showed off a number of new screens and detailed the tech that powers the game's randomly generated areas. According to the recent blog post from lead designer Patrick Blank, Torchlight 2 features two types of new outdoor areas: Passes and Overworld areas. Each section is substantially larger than even the biggest levels found in the original game and include "random dungeons, random events, and lots of exploration for players." On the blog, Blank reveals the largest area in Torchlight was made up of "6-7 chunks," whereas the first Overworld area in Torchlight 2 is made up of "18-23 chunks."

Developer Runic Games have injected Torchlight 2 with much larger areas than the original

Passes are "tighter" thematic areas that connect players between zones. Not only are the Passes randomized, but the content within each pass changes. "There are several random elements that can change your gameplay experience every time," Blank writes. These sections of the game are much more structured 'Point A to Point B' areas. The open-ended Overworld sections offer something different in comparison. "As soon as you enter one, you are free to go off in any direction you like. They are the big playgrounds of Torchlight II. Players can easily spend a lot of their time just exploring and finding little surprises everywhere." These areas are also randomized, so--according to Blank--"the possible variations are endless." Like Passes, the Overworld areas offer variation within each randomized core area. The first Overworld area, Blank explains, includes "multiple random dungeons, quest specific dungeons, landmark areas, and random events." Of course, each area will be packed with loot, enemies, and bosses. Portals also return, giving players easy access to the surface. We expect to see even more from Runic Games at E3 2011. Until then, make sure to check out the game's official blog.